Nutrition, Supplements & Complementary Care
NUTRITION, SUPPLEMENTS & COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE
After receiving a diagnosis of cancer, patients and their friends and family have many questions that include:
What should I eat?
Are there supplements that can help maintain my wellness?
What can I do besides conventional medicine for my cancer and to promote wellness?
What should I do about everything my family and friends want me to take?
What are the best complementary treatments?
How do I know what is safe for me to take?
What can I do to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation?
How do I recover once my treatment is over?
How do I make sure I don’t lose any more weight or gain unwanted fat?
How can I get ready for surgery?
Is there a safe way to reduce the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, that often present after care treatment?
These are excellent questions because they raise issues about how you as a patient can be an active partner in your own health care and make changes in diet and lifestyle that may help optimize your well being.
We understand the importance of evaluating integrative and complementary approaches. We know that many patients and survivors seek out complementary practices such as nutritional information, dietary supplements, massage, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spiritual practices, chiropractics, etc. These are usually added to their conventional cancer treatments in the hope of improving well being, facilitating healing, boosting the immune system, and helping patients to tolerate their cancer treatment more effectively thus potentially maximizing the benefits of anti-cancer therapy. We understand the importance of evaluating these approaches and we want to do this in coordination with the best conventional cancer treatment.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) makes a distinction between complementary and alternative medicine. According to NCCAM, “complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine and alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine.”
We support the use of complementary approaches, and believe that integrative medicine — defined by NCCAM as “combining conventional medicine with CAM for which there is some high-quality evidence of safety and effectiveness” — can be the most helpful for our patients with cancer.
Unfortunately, many patients and family members do not know where to turn for the best guidance on these subjects and are too often left with advice from health food store clerks, unregulated web sites or others who lack the knowledge and training to develop a personalized nutritional, dietary supplementation or complementary medicine plan. Patients are often overwhelmed by the well-meaning suggestions of family and friends who have heard of a ‘miracle treatment’ or ‘outstanding supplement’ that will keep their loved one safe. Most patients, confused by the amount of information regarding alternative cancer care on the internet or in books/magazines, cannot always discern good information from bad. We are especially concerned that complementary and alternative treatments not interfere with conventional care and we are committed to giving you reliable information to help you make smart choices in your care.
At the Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology we believe that optimizing wellness is an important goal. Becoming educated by well trained integrative oncology specialists who are knowledgeable about nutrition, dietary supplements and complementary care is essential in helping you become as healthy as possible after a cancer diagnosis. Our integrative oncology specialists have extensive experience working in the area of cancer and cancer prevention and have special training and knowledge in the areas of diet/nutrition and the appropriate use of supplements, symptom management, wellness and immune support to help you make good choices, and to create an individualized wellness plan that takes into consideration your treatment status.
We offer two types of services:
Individual Integrative Assessment by an Integrative Oncology Specialist: Individual educational sessions for patients with cancer or individuals at risk for developing cancer providing an opportunity to receive extensive personalized education on nutrition, dietary supplements, strategies to optimize wellness during cancer treatment, and enhance well-being. We allow sufficient time to answer all of your questions. Body composition will also be assessed as part of this session and will provide you and the specialist with information that may be helpful to you in your personalized plan for wellness.
A family member of friend may attend.
Educational Groups by an Integrative Oncology Specialist: We can present a seminar (4-6 participants) on specific topics for your small group. These seminars will be intimate and allow for some individual attention while still covering all the basic information on the topic. Our experts can also arrange seminars for specific subgroups of patients with a similar diagnosis. To arrange an educational group, please contact us with a group of 4-6 people with interest in a particular topic and we will tailor the seminar to your group's specific interest.
If you would like to be contacted about scheduling an appointment for an integrative oncology counseling assessment/educational session, please send us an email with how to contact you.